Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Question for the Mommies

The Irishman and I have started phase two of the transition from guest room to nursery. Last weekend we removed a bookcase. This weekend we started on the walk in closet. It is going to get a lot worse before it gets better!

(We did take a couple of diversionary trips this afternoon. We went to look at much needed closet organization systems. While we were out that way we started picking up paint samples and had a look around Babys R Us.)

So, here is our dilemma. We are starting to get pressure to start a registry, which I do plan to do. The problem is that we have a small townhouse. We do not want any more than what we need. Being as a large number of my friends have already had a child (or two or three), I am asking two main questions:

What baby items will we not be able to live without?
What did you get that you found to be a waste of space and money?

I know we will get more than we need, but I am hoping to limit it if I can. We also have the wonderful luxury of friends who are giving us baby items that they no longer need. (By the way...y'all are the best!)

We love our townhouse, but we have no garage or attic. Space is at a premium! So...what are your "must haves" and your "don't bothers"? Favorite brands or ones to forget? Please leave a comment or send me an e-mail. I'd love your feedback!

**Side note: If you haven't voted in the poll yet, please do! My ultrasound was rescheduled for Thursday, so hopefully we'll know then if it is a boy or a girl!


Rachel said...

I may just send you an e-mail on this :)

My kids were both different, so where as Meredith loved the swing, Russ never liked it. Russ loved to be swaddled, and Meredith hated it. So --- some of the stuff you may get, and just realize that you may be giving it to Goodwill (or sending it to a friends house for storage until the next child).

My must haves
1. Diapers and Wipes
2. Zippered Sleepers
3. 1 or 2 Swaddling Blankets
4. Sling
5. Crib (and crib sheets and such)
6. Good quality pump (if nursing)

Kids screaming...will get back to this later :)

The Coble's said...

Babies just need food, clean diapers, and lots of love. The rest is just for mommy and daddy’s entertainment. But I will admit that a good swing and Baby Einstein movies are a must!

Kellie said...

Don't waste money on a wipes or bottle warmer. Wipes don't need to be warm because some babies will scream anyway while others don't care either way. We drink our fluids cold, babies can too. All of my kids drank breast milk, formula, and whole milk cold.

I love my pump. I had a manual pump with my first and it was awful. With my second we bought a Medela Pump in Style and it was worth every penny because my second would not nurse at all.

We used a diaper carrier thingy (those cute bags on a hanger that you can put on the end of a crib) for our first and never bothered with it for our second and third.

I loved our baby swing, the problem is they don't fit in it for very long.

Exersaucers are great, but take up a lot of room. I think most will collapse, but are still bulky.

The blanket sleepers are wonderful.

I hated the Baby Einstein videos and studies show that they don't help babies, but actually hinder baby development.

Diapers are hard, because some kids do well with store brand and some kids don't. I would try the cheap diapers (buy one package) and see if they work. If not, they could either be the wrong size or your baby at whatever stage he/she is in doesn't work well with store brand. All of our kids have done just fine with store brand diapers.

Don't buy white clothing for your baby unless it's for a Christening or something.

A crib mobile was a wonderful thing for my first, my second and third didn't really care for it. I'd say don't bother unless you really want it. It doesn't take up much room, but does need to be stored once your baby can stand up in the crib and grab it.

A portable crib has been a must for us. We take it on vacation, when we're staying with friends or relatives, etc.

That's all I can think of for right now. Good luck and have fun!

Lyndsay said...

My thoughts and opinions may be a tad bit different to others because of having twins but here goes anyway!
Must haves:
*Sleep sacks (swaddler ones at the beginning)
*Onesies, onesies, and onesies
*Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall (key points in this book are having baby self settle, dreamfeed, following a schedule)
*Jogging stroller (even if you don't run they are great for walks. (BTW On my walk this morning I managed to acquire a used single jogging stroller for you - I'll tell you all about it in school tomorrow.)
* Bouncer/rocker chair for baby
* Avent products (bottles and sippy cups) all are interchangeable e.g. handles of sippy cups can be used on bottle so child can hold bottle
* Pack and Play - get one that has a bassinet and changing table combo - you can use both downstairs.
*Graco products - reasonably priced and good :)
*Wal-Mart's baby wipes - much cheaper than others and just as good (although they don't pop up from the box)
* Exersaucer (I am giving you mine soon)
* Hospital strength double breast pump (if breastfeeding)

Don't bother:
* Diaper Champ/Genie
* Large swing - takes up too much space and both my boys hated it (but they did love the small travel swing that I gave you)
* Cheap diapers e.g Target brand - they are cheap for a reason!! Pampers and Huggies only!
* Crib bumpers and decorations - suffocation hazards
* Baby blankets - I got so many receiving blankets and lovely decorated blankets. You really only use a few receiving blankets at the infant stage and maybe 1 or 2 warm blankets in the wintertime (or if you go to Ireland!). My boys sleep in sleep sacks so I don't use blankets in their cribs.
* Shoes for infants
* Complete outfits for infants - all they wear are just don't use all those lovely cute outfits that people insist on buying you :)

My advice on your list - take a "mother" friend with you to the store as an "advisor".
Think ahead - ask for items that you will need after the infant stage e.g. next stage car seat

Didn't mean to write an essay!

Lindsay said...

Now, my turn! :)
I had a huge swing with my first, and for the second and third used a portable swing: it was tiny, and could fold up and slide under/behind the couch. Much better than big and bulky

I had a big high chair with the first and second. With the baby, I use one of those boosters that snap on to a regular chair. MUCH EASIER, and takes up no space, LOVE IT

Must have: rocker glider, had one with the first and still use it to this day

Do not get a bottle warmer, agree with kellie. my kids drank room temp. formula.. never had a problem

no diaper genie--mine never worked, and it's easier just to tie the dirty thing in a plastic grocery bag, double bag it and throw it away.. no smell, and no room

I didn't use baby bath tubs either. too much space. and hard to store.. i just used the sink.. easy clean up!!!

hope this helps you some!

Charles & Christina said...

We would not have been able to survive without our big, bulky, cradle swing. It's the only place our first would sleep for months, and our second sleeps much better in it overnight as well.

I would suggest pampers or huggies initially and switch to store brands at size 3 (I love Target and Publix premium is pretty good as well). Target brand wipes are great, we use the unscented, sensitive skin ones. (If you are thinking about cloth diapers send me an email and I can give you thoughts on types and brands I used with the first)

Not all brands of crib sheets fit a mattress, I would suggest Koala Baby (Babies 'r us) and Tiddlywinks (Target).

I agree that wipe warmers, bottle warmers, diaper genies are all a waste.

Big strollers (like a travel system) are very bulky and while we used the stroller some with the first, we almost never use it with the second. A small umbrella stroller we got for free we've used much more that the bigger one.

Gerber bottles are super cheap and work just as well as more expensive brands.

Agate Lake Girl said...

Rylee couldn't live without:

- swing (when she was colic-y)
- sleep sheep (sound machine)
- boppy pillow (never used it for breast feeding but she curled up in it all the time)
- formula pitcher (so convenient since Rylee turned out to be a formula baby - I even brought it to MN with me)
- Ventaire bottles were great for Rylee's tummy issues

What we didn't need or use:

- breast pump (since Rylee had to go off breast milk fairly quickly it was a waste to buy, you can rent them from hospitals and other places if you need and or buy later if you really use)
- you can get by without the warmer and the diaper pail though it you get them as gifts they can be nice. Our Decor brand Diaper thing works awesome.

I can't think of anything else right now. I'd love to be your shopper helper if you still haven't registered by the time I get back in July.


Laura said...

Okay here is my two cents - even though little John is only 7 months. I'm a little wordy but I'm at camp and have to stay up to midnight to put the counselors to bed.

Bouncer - Used it all the time when he was very little. Now he likes me to hold him well he stand in front of it, but he is already too big for it and it is rather large.

Swing - Large and we don't use it that much.

Crib - I got at ikea and love it.

Pack and play - used a lot and not tons because he sleeps in it at camp.

Breast Pump - electric used everyday since John was born. Have manual pump that the hospital gave me that I use when I forget my electric pump - it sucks. I need a pump right away because little John was in the NICU. I looked into renting one from that hospital and it seemed liked it would be a lot of trouble.

Handsfree pumping bra - used everyday since I started back to work.

Sleep sacks - still using

Breathable crip bumper - Thought I wouldn't need but pretty soon after he was born little John started wiggle around the crib and sticking his arms and legs through the slats.

Exersuacer - It is big but I put little John in it when I get dress for work and it keeps him entertained. The one have has peice that come off and he has been playing with them since about a month and there are pieces of it at camp, in the living room and on the exersaucer. It also turns in to a table that you can walk up to and Lyla walks up to the saucer and plays with the pieces when she is at our house.

Onies - little John never wears anything else.

Boppy - I used it in the hospital and still use it now. I use to need it to breastfeed but now it is just nice - I don't bring it back and forth to camp.

Rocker - I use to think it was a must have and was nervous about not having it at camp but it is really not that big of deal.

Stroller - The most important accessory is a cup holder for the pusher. We had the frame for the carseat that I like until little John was about 6 months. We went to look for a forward facing stroller. We tried tons and ended up getting the huge travel system bottom for the carseat. I love it - though it has only been I month. I like it because if Little John is sleeping I can put the carseat in it, but if he is awake he can sit up. I also I'm carting around tons of stuff and needed a super huge area. It is large but I put it in the big car and park it in the hall at camp.

Mirror for carseat - so you can check out baby in review mirror - from John.

Elizabeth said...

Wipe and bottle warmers are a waste of space and money. For wipes, I was a big fan of Huggies natural care. The Pampers wipes were so sudsy and smelled too perfumy for me. When mixed with poo, it just smelled even worse. The huggies wipes you could use on their hands and faces (when older)

When I had 3 cribs going in the house, a must for me was a snap on crib sheet (can't remember the name of it now), but it layed on top of your good/pretty sheets and snapped right off for easy changing. Then I wasn't constantly washing all of the decorative stuff.

Spend the money on higher-quality big ticket items (Peg Perego, Maclaren, Medela) for strollers, breast pumps, etc. You won't be sorry you did, especially when #2, 3 and 4 come along!

For Taylor, I had a little portable swing that she loved. It didn't take up much room and was easy to move around the house with me.

I also did not find a need for Dreft or special detergents. I would use whatever detergent you use now, you can always change if you need to.

The most important thing you need is a quilt handmade by G-Grandma Betty!!!!

Have fun and enjoy!

Emily said...

I had the same questions as you when I was a first-time mom (what do I actually need? How do I know what's the best stuff and not just the most expensive?). I HIGHLY recommend the book "Baby Bargains." They come out with a new edition every couple years or so (the latest edition was published this spring). When I was pregnant with Amelia a friend loaned me her copy and it was a LIFESAVER! It goes through every category of baby product, rates it on safety, price, etc. and they authors give their opinion on what is necessary. I would have been totally lost without this book and I have since bought it for several of my expectant friends. Check it out from your library, or here's a link to amazon: Good luck!

sheri said...

I'm sending you a novella via email. :o) One, because I have a lot to say. Two, for the convenience of saving a draft and continuing after the current baby crisis is over. I'll be in touch soon!

MN Mom said...

Just wanted to add that with Rylee Shannon has a huge high chair and it takes up a lot of room...when we came to Mn we stopped at ikea and bought a small one for 25.00 (including the tray) and we love it! It doesn't take up much room at all and the legs pop off for storage. Also easy to take along.
If you read Shannon's blog lately you see she is bathing Rylee in a storage good!
clothes aren't practical until they are 6 months. Onsies and pjs.
(Oh and FYI I am making you one of my floor quilts!)

Manuela said...

This is what I couldn't live with out with all three.
-Bouncy seat
- stroller (peg Perego - light weight and good size, takes car seat also.
-sleep sacks
-exersaucers (all three love them, but you only need it after 4-5 months.)
-pack and play (had it set up in the living room for naps and changing with the twins. Lucas has never used it, but I still have for trips)
- bottles - (Nick would only take Avents, Lilly only nursed, Lucas disliked the Avent and now uses Evenflo) So in my opinion by one of different models and try them out.
- Highchair- All 3 used/uses the booster seats that attched to any chair. The bigger highcahairs were big and bulky and hard to clean. These are plastic and we wash them in the shower!

Ok, there is a ton of stuff that I left out, but Lukey is "calling"!

Good luck and have fun registering!